Justices uphold murder conviction in 2010 Hancock County case

Justices uphold murder conviction in 2010 Hancock County case

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The man sentenced to death for strangling Wenda Holling in Hancock County, driving her body to Harrison County, and dumping it in a rural field will not get a new trial.

In a ruling that came out Thursday, a majority of state supreme court justices denied Timothy Evans' appeal.

Evans admitted to investigators back in 2010 that he initially used a pillow to try and kill Holling, but eventually choked her. "I just strangled her," the defendant said in a recording played during his trial. That confession came three weeks after a road crew discovered the victim's body about 10 yards from a rural county road.

Evans was her tenant at the time of the January 2010 murder. Evidence introduced during his trial included credit cards used after her death, and surveillance footage from stores where the cards got used, Because of that evidence, prosecutors said Evans became the prime suspect in the 70-year-old woman's death.

Authorities captured the 52-year-old Evans in Florida more than a month after Holling died.

In that audio recording, the suspect confessed that he killed Holling and then went out "like everything was fine".

Evans' attorneys appealed his conviction to the Supreme Court. They argued 10 instances where they felt the verdict could be overturned, including how the defendant's competency was used at trial and whether the prosecution made prejudicially inflammatory closing arguments.

In the majority opinion denying Evans' appeal, justices wrote, " Evans admitted that he had planned the killing in advance and that he ultimately executed the plan."

A jury determined Timothy Evans should receive the death penalty for committing this capital murder.

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